Hearing on Odessa Massacre in European Parliament
July 12, 2014 • 12:02PM

Latvian Member of the European Parliament Tatjana Zdanoka organized a hearing on the May 2 Odessa massacre, on July 9 in Brussels, despite disruptions staged by pro-Ukrainian coup groups. Zdanoka, who last February received Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine leader Natalia Vitrenko in Strasbourg, during the latter's Schiller Institute-organized Western Europe tour, is demanding the establishment of an independent investigative commission on the Odessa fire. Speaking to Channel One Russia Thursday, Zdanoka said, "Our objective is to demand an international investigation of the events in Odessa on May 2. Conclusions will be drawn only on the basis of qualified evidence collected by experts. It is my personal opinion that one of those conclusions will be the urgent need to put [Ukrainian fascist paramilitary group] Right Sector on the list of terrorist organizations."

On May 2, provocateurs operating from within a march of soccer fans drove anti-coup protesters into the city Trade Unions building, which was then set on fire with the apparent use of accelerants. People trying to escape the building were beaten and stabbed by pro-coup militants, including some identifiable as leaders in the February coup in Kiev. As victims fell or jumped to their deaths, people in the square chanted the Euromaidan slogan "Glory to Ukraine!" originally that of the Nazi collaborators of Stepan Bandera's Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. At least 50 people were killed.

Zdanoka invited eyewitnesses to testify, including Prof. Elena Radzykhovskaya from Odessa University. According to RIA Novosti, she told of seeing young girls hurl Molotov cocktails into the building; trying herself to defend a man who was being beating in the street; and then discovering the body of her son in an ambulance. "Why was my son killed?" she asked, "For participating in peaceful rallies demanding a referendum?" She testified that Odessa Region Governor Ihor Palytsia had promised relatives an honest investigation, but that its findings were merely that "those people burned themselves to death."

Another witness, journalist Alexander Todorov, showed shocking footage and photos from the scene. He appealed to the Europeans, "The tragedy of May 2, without exaggeration, has become a point of no return for the entire European community. I do not want to scare you, but if you do not take drastic measures to remedy the situation now, our sad moment will be your future. Fascism, chauvinism and ultra-Nazism, sprouted in Ukraine today; tomorrow it will blossom in full bloom all over Europe."

Activist Oleh Muzyka, who escaped the burning building and survived, stated his belief that "the crime in Odessa will not be investigated." He described a "greenish yellow gas that filled the building from floor to ceiling," so that people first suffocated and then were set on fire.

In the one hour allotted for the hearing, Zdanoka was unable to call all the witnesses who wanted to testify. In remarks Friday, reported by the Latvian agency Delfi, Zdanoka said that supporters of the coup-installed Kiev regime, allowed into the hearing in large groups, had attempted to sabotage the event. A July 9 wire from the Ukrainian agency Ukrinform shows that there was an organized attempt to wreck the hearings. It was headlined "Pro-Russian Provocation To Discredit Ukraine Planned in Europarliament." Ukrinform said that "Ukrainian patriotic circles in the EU" were distressed at Zdanoka's hearing, which they said was "in the best traditions of anti-Ukrainian Russian propaganda."